Close Notification

Your cart does not contain any items

The World Is Not Big Enough

The Truth Is a Foreign Country for a Refugee

Vanessa Russell



In stock
Ready to ship


Hardie Grant Books
03 February 2021
The World Is Not Big Enough is the story of one woman's journey to understand the human side of a broken system. At once an investigation into the murder of a refugee and a compassionate exploration of who he was, The World Is Not Big Enough exposes the ways we are all affected by Australia's migration policies and their history.

In 2013, on a whim Vanessa Russell googled Ahmad Shah Abed, an Afghan asylum seeker she had exchanged letters with a decade earlier, to find he had been murdered in 2009. The news came as a shock. Ahmad Shah had been living in detention in Port Hedland when Vanessa had first started writing to him as a student hoping to do some good. Their relationship had been brief but impactful. After all these years, Vanessa couldn't shake the feeling that she had failed him. With the news of Ahmad Shah's murder, Vanessa realised she needed to find answers.

The World Is Not Big Enough tracks Vanessa's journey as she tries determinedly to unravel what happened to Ahmad Shah and why. Deeply felt and superbly written, the book travels with Vanessa to Port Hedland, Christmas Island and Perth as she interviews Ahmad Shah's friends, fellow refugees, refugee advocates, support workers, people who worked in detention centres, and spends a year talking with the murderer himself. What she uncovers is the multi-layered and often untold story of detention in Australia and its very human consequences.
By:   Vanessa Russell
Imprint:   Hardie Grant Books
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm, 
Weight:   410g
ISBN:   9781743796832
ISBN 10:   1743796838
Pages:   304
Publication Date:   03 February 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Vanessa Russell is the author of Holy Bible, a novel about a religious family who believe the Gulf War will bring the apocalypse. Her writing has been published in various newspapers and journals around the world. She has a PhD in creative writing from the University of Melbourne, where she taught media writing for eight years. She currently teaches English.

See Also